Today, 2nd August 2012, the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) & NUS Scotland sent a joint letter to Michael Moore MP, Secretary of State for Scotland and Bruce Crawford MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy, urging the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to ensure all 16 and 17 year-olds living in Scotland are allowed to vote in the referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future.
Both Mr Crawford and Mr Moore have previously pledged their personal support for votes at 16 in principle. SYP and NUS Scotland believe the referendum provides an ideal opportunity to enshrine the principle of votes at 16 in Scottish Elections.
The letter calls on both the UK and Scottish Governments to meet and discuss the details including provisions in a Section 30 order to transfer control over the franchise and registration for the purpose of the referendum, and for all other elections in Scotland, allowing Electoral Registration Officers to accept registrations from everyone who would be eligible.
Both SYP and NUS Scotland believe 16 and 17 year-olds should be given the right to vote in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence and any subsequent elections in Scotland.
Grant Costello MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, says:
“This referendum is a once in a generation opportunity for young people to have their say on Scotland’s constitutional future. We call on the UK and Scottish Governments to put aside their disagreements and to work together to remove the barriers impeding votes at 16. Young people are the future of Scotland, and they should have the opportunity to clearly express their preference for Scotland’s future.”
Robin Parker, NUS Scotland President, says:
“The forthcoming referendum will be one of the most important questions ever faced by the people of Scotland, which is why it’s crucial that it’s as inclusive as possible. The Scottish and UK Governments need to work together to deliver Votes at 16 for the referendum and all future elections as quickly as possible so that Scotland’s young people can be fully involved in the debate over Scotland’s future.”
The full letter can be read here:
Joint Letter from NUS Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament on Votes at 16